Cell Turnover & Anti-Aging Skincare

August 9, 2023

cell turnover and anti-aging - beautiful middle aged woman with perfect skin

Skin cell turnover is a natural bodily process that removes dead skin cells to reveal new, healthy skin cells below. According to Dr. Jean Charles of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Cedar Park, Texas, “There are many factors that contribute to skin aging. Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of skin aging, and the one that most people are familiar with. Another contributor to skin aging is slowing cell turnover. The longer dead skin cells remain on the top layers of the skin, the more they impact the appearance, enhancing signs of aging. By working to ensure healthy skin cell turnover, you can help to prevent and reverse signs of skin aging.” In this blog, Dr. Charles discusses the impact of skin cell turnover and provides tips for anti-aging skincare and dermatologic procedures to improve the appearance of skin.

Benefits of Cell Turnover to Slow the Skin’s Aging Process

When it comes to the benefits of cell turnover to improve the appearance of skin, Dr. Charles says, “When we’re young, dead skin is shed quickly, and replaced with smooth skin cells. As we age, cell turnover slows, leaving dead skin cells on the surface of the skin for longer. This leads to skin looking dull, uneven, and rough. It also contributes to the development of fine lines and dark spots, and slowing skin cell turnover makes wrinkles more noticeable. For these reasons, it’s important to ensure skin cells are removed regularly, so healthy skin is revealed below.”

Dermatologic Procedures that Promote Skin Cell Turnover

According to Dr. Charles, “Exfoliation is the key to promoting skin cell turnover. For this reason, most dermatologic procedures recommended to increase skin cell turnover are geared toward exfoliation or skin resurfacing. Removing the outer layers of the skin jump-starts the skin’s healing processes, leading to healthier looking and feeling skin.” Some of the most popular treatments recommended by dermatologists to improve skin cell turnover and provide anti-aging benefits include:

  • Chemical peels – this is a skin resurfacing procedure that uses acids to remove the outer layers of the skin. Following the removal of the outer layers of skin, the body’s healing processes are triggered, revealing healthy skin below.
  • Microdermabrasion – like chemical peels, this treatment works by removing the outer layers of skin, using a crystal spray to break down and remove dead skin cells. For those who experience sensitivity to chemical ingredients in peels, microdermabrasion may offer a better option.
  • Laser skin resurfacing – this is a treatment that uses laser technology to remove dead skin cells, revealing healthier skin below. The application of resurfacing lasers, like HALO, BBL, MOXI, IPL, Fraxel, and CO2 technologies, stimulates collagen production by applying heat to the dermis level of the skin. The increase in collagen production continues, improving the appearance of skin tone and texture over time. Laser skin resurfacing can also reduce the appearance of dark spots, scars, enlarged pores, and other irregularities in the appearance of the skin.
  • Vivace RF Microneedling – this treatment combines radiofrequency (RF) technology with microneedling. The microneedling creates tiny injuries that jump-start the healing process. As the microneedles penetrate the surface layers of the skin, the RF energy works to promote collagen production in the deeper skin layers.

Skincare Products That Increase Skin Cell Turnover

In addition to dermatologic treatments, it’s also essential to maintain an effective morning and evening skincare routine to increase cellular turnover and maintain healthy skin. For the ideal anti-aging skincare routine that promotes skin cell turnover, Dr. Charles says, “Exfoliation and hydration are key. Patients need to ensure dead skin cells are removed completely, but maintaining the skin’s natural protective barrier is also important. That means you need to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and keep your skin barrier moisturized.” Below, we outline an effective anti-aging skincare routine for the morning and evening.

Anti-Aging Morning Skincare Routine:

  • Cleanse – use a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and grime from the skin.
  • Exfoliate – use a gentle exfoliating product (toner or serum) 2-3 times a week to gently remove dead skin cells. Look for products with an alpha hydroxy acid such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or mandelic acid. These ingredients break down the surface oils and other tissues holding dead skin cells in place.
  • Moisturizer – a lightweight moisturizer is typically adequate during the day to keep skin hydrated without causing unnecessary oiliness that can slow cell turnover.
  • Sunscreen – Exfoliation can make skin more susceptible to UV damage so it’s important to protect against the sun’s damaging rays by applying a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Look for products that are broad-spectrum, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Anti-Aging Evening Skincare Routine:

  • Cleanse – the same cleanser can be used morning and evening.
  • Retinol – retinols are an essential ingredient in skin cell turnover. Retinol is derived from vitamin A, and it encourages skin cells to shed. Additionally, retinol stimulates healing and the production of collagen and elastin for firm, more youthful-looking skin. It is recommended to apply a pea-sized amount all over the face twice a week at night slowly increasing to nightly use as tolerated.
  • Moisturizer – follow with heavier moisturizer in the evenings to soothe and deeply hydrate skin.

If you’re looking for the right skincare products to promote cellular turnover, Dr. Charles recommends, “Talk to your dermatologist first! It’s important to promote cell turnover, but you should also be aware of your other skin health needs and find out about the best products for your unique needs. Your dermatologist will provide personalized skincare product recommendations that keep skin healthy and beautiful.” Some of the top recommended products to increase skin cell turnover and prevent aging include:

Talk to an Expert

If you’re ready to learn more about cell turnover and anti-aging skincare, the knowledgeable professionals at U.S. Dermatology Partners are here to help. Our dermatologists can work with you to develop a personalized anti-aging skincare routine. They also offer recommendations for dermatologic treatments that keep skin healthy and reverse the signs of aging. When you’re ready to schedule a visit, just take a few moments to complete our online scheduling request form. Once we hear from you, our local dermatology team will be in touch to finalize the details.

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